These days boys from South Korea are really popular thanks to Kpop and Korean dramas. However, back in 2008 they were just typically cute and noticeably stylish boys at my university. And, the horror stories on the internet that almost scared me away from them haven’t changed– that much.
Back then I had Statistics with a Korean boy. He was actually the second or third Korean boy I had ever met in my entire life. (No, he didn’t look like a Korean idol.) Now, I’ve had friends from ALL over the world, even places like Cambodia and Bulgaria! So, I was excited to get the chance to meet a boy from South Korea and learn more about him and his country.
We happened to go to the same party one night. We made eye contact and recognized each other. I said hi to him first, and we ended up drinking and dancing together, too! Afterwards, we became Facebook friends and talked often, but later– somehow, I was deleted from his Facebook.
I thought he had deleted me, but he apologized and explained what had happened as soon as he found out that his friends had done it as a “joke”. Suddenly, I was aware of our differences, and I had to ask myself three questions– three very important questions that would determine the future as I knew it.
Korean Boys & Black Girls, Part 1: 3 Questions That Need To Be Answered
1. Are Koreans really racist?
2. Do Korean boys even like black girls; more importantly, would they like me?
3. If I fall for someone who is Korean, then can we meet and date happily– even if there’s no “happily ever after”?
Since then, I have found the answers to the three questions I had– and a few more, like whether or not true love even exists. (Yes, it does.) Now, I want to share my answers with you, because they just might give you the courage you need to follow your heart and find the answers to your own questions about life, love and everything in between.
1. Are Koreans racist?
South Korea is still full of people, especially– but not only, older people who are very xenophobic. Xenophobia is an irrational fear of that which is perceived as foreign or strange. Meaning, some Korean people are just not used to seeing and might not like foreigners, especially black foreigners.
For example, Koreans often stare at black or simply dark skinned foreigners more than any other type of foreigner. When I went to Korea, I literally got goosebumps because I realized everyone around was watching me as I walked down a street in Apgujeong with my friend. However, staring at someone doesn’t make anyone racist.
So, don’t take the Korean stare the wrong way. Sometimes, they are staring out of genuine curiosity. If you smile, they might even smile back. Even if they do say or do something rude or disrespectful to you, be polite and respectful to them. Not everyone will be willing to accept you for who you are, but you should be willing to try to change their mind by making a good first and last impression.
Tip: If you speak a little or a lot of Korean and show that you are familiar with their culture, Koreans tend be very warm and welcoming.
2. Do Korean boys like black girls?
South Korea tends to have one standard of beauty– well, one for boys and men and one for girls and women. Ideal girls and women tend to be pale and thin, with big eyes, a small nose and a V-shaped jaw line. They also idealize long, straight hair, although the ocean wave is also a hot trend.
In addition, Koreans find pale skin tones cute and innocent and tanned skin tones sexy. But, before you throw your hands up in the air– after all you might not be any of those things, just remember that Korean boys and men are individuals, too. They have their own thoughts and feelings, which may or may not match the rest of everyone else’s in their society.
Anyway, Beyonce is the perfect example of a black woman who is popular in South Korea. She is tanned and has a “glamorous,” curvy body. Many idols like Hyosung, Hyomin and Ailee are known as “The Korean Beyonce”. However, Naomi Campbell is also very popular in South Korea, and they call her Victoria Secret’s “Shining Black Pearl”.
Korean boys and men tend to be rather stylish, especially in Gangnam, and they seem to appreciate stylish girls and women as well as girls and women of all shades, shapes and sizes; although, there does seem to be a general preference for paler, smaller and slimmer girls and women.
American girls and women can sometimes fall behind the rest of the world when it comes to fashion, so I suggest looking your absolute best at the very least– no matter what size you are, which will definitely turn heads and land smiles. You might even get a few compliments, which is always a great way to start a conversation.
Tip: This might seem shallow, but Koreans are very concerned with first impressions and image! Special K can help you drop inches off your waist and thighs within weeks. Circle lenses are also a fun beauty trick that make your eyes look bigger. And, does skin color in South Korea really matter?
3. Can I be happy in an interracial relationship?
First, there Three Golden Rules– three golden rules that you’ve probably never heard of, right? Well, they’re important when it comes to being happy in any relationship but especially when you’re trying to be in an interracial relationship with someone Korean, whether you’re in or out of South Korea.
1. Learn to speak Korean– even a little.
2. Don’t meet Korean boys or men in clubs.
3. Never sleep with a Korean boy or man that you just met, especially if you met him at a club and he tries to take you to a love motel.
Most girls ignore the importance of the first rule and break the second and third rule. But, Korean boys or men might try to sleep with you very quickly because they think foreign girls and women, especially western girls and women, are “open,” or open to having casual sex.
However, they will probably lose interest in you if you sleep with them too soon, especially if you don’t actually speak the same language and don’t or either can’t find out whether or not you actually have anything in common. So, you should either talk about what you want from each other upfront or just wait until you get to know each other before having sex. I think this goes for any relationship with anyone, though!
Tip: When you meet Korean boys or men, they probably won’t know anything about you except for what they have seen on TV. So, work hard to help them get to know you and be patient with their questions about your skin or hair.
These answers aren’t good or bad, and you might have different ones based on your own experiences.
However, keep an open mind and an open heart, and someone special– Korean or not, will feel your sincerity and genuinely welcome you, help you and grow to understand and even love you.
Finally, be sure to check out Korean Boys and Black Girls, Part 2: Its Not That Complicated (Or Is It?). I’ll talk more about my relationship with my ex-boyfriend, Junho, and offer some advice on how to overcome the language, cultural and even physical barriers that come with being in an interracial relationship.